Four Important Steps To Take If You Have An Accident In Florida
Accidents do happen. In Florida, with our nice weather, beautiful roads and tourists coming to see our attractions, the chances are that in spite of your best efforts, you will be involved in an auto accident. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety in 2018 there were 403,626 accidents and more than half 255,353 sustained injuries. If you should happen to be among those unfortunately involved in an accident, we have provided a list of important steps for you to follow.
Check For Injuries And Call 911:
Stay calm, remain focused. Check your passengers and the people in the other vehicle to see if they are okay. When you call 911 make sure you give them:
● Detailed location of where you are
● Describe scene, for example if one vehicle is overturned or gas has been spilled
● Let the operator know if anyone has been injured or is asking for help
Law Enforcement will be dispatched:
If your accident is within the community the local police will be sent to the scene but if the accident is outside city limits the county sheriff’s department will be notified. If you are on a state highway the Florida Highway Patrol will be dispatched. While this may seem a bit confusing, they will all pretty much ask you the same questions.
It is vital that you collect evidence! The minutes after an accident is crucial. You need to gather evidence to support your demand for compensation from the at-fault driver or their insurance company. This evidence will be used to prove the other person’s negligence. You will need:
● Other drivers, insurance, license and information
● Witness phone numbers and addresses
● Photos of both vehicles
● Photos of every angle of the street
● Weather conditions
● Time of day and amount of traffic
● Policeman’s information such as badge number to obtain their report.
Notify Your Insurance Company:
Your insurance company is obligated to provide coverage for you up to the limits of your policy and defend you after an accident. This includes providing legal representation in the event you are sued. But you must contact them immediately and cooperate with their investigation of the accident.
Understanding Florida’s No Fault Law
Florida is a no-fault state which requires all drivers to carry auto insurance known as personal injury protection (PIP). What this means is that if you are injured in an accident you go to your own insurance company and file a first-party claim. This means your insurance company will pay for your medical bills, lost wages and out of pocket expenses. Florida law requires drivers to have the following:
● $10,000 in medical and disability benefits
● $ 5,000 in death benefits
Depending on the severity of the accident, it may not be enough to cover all your expenses.
When To Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
The medical bills for a serious injury claim can be substantial. In these cases you simply will not be able to go up against the large insurance companies with attorneys on their staff full time. By representing yourself you will in all likelihood settle for an amount much lower than what your attorney can obtain for you even after his fees have been deducted.
Compensation for a serious injury claim can be substantial. You need the services of a personal injury attorney that is experienced at going up against the big insurance companies. With over 150 years of combined experience and over $500 million in settlements, the attorneys at Justice Pays can get you the compensation you deserve. So give us a call today for a free consultation.